Welcome to December, the final month of this miserable 2020. Ok, that is the pessimist in me, but the optimist has enjoyed working from home and being with my family more. I’ve also enjoyed a lot of music and today there is A LOT!! We have over 20 albums for you to check out. I have a few I will listen to and those are highlighted in Blue. I think we have only 2 more Friday New Releases and then it will be quiet for about 3 weeks or more before new releases start picking back up. So, with that in mind, grab as much as you can. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend.
Hollywood Undead – New Empire, Vol. 2 – (BMG): Volume 1 came out earlier this year and these guys killed it yet again. I really dig their sound which if you don’t know is a metalcore sound that mixes hip hop and heavy metal. I am usually not a huge fan of that genre, but I like these guys and I haven’t missed a beat with them. Looking forward to this one.
Shawn Mendes – Wonder – (Island Records): Okay, I will admit, I’m not completely over the moon for this one but my girls like this kid and I have to admit also that some of it isn’t half bad for radio pop music. My daughter says for her 16th birthday she wants to meet him so Shawn, you have 3 years to get the restraining order.
For this month’s version of The Original vs. The Cover we are going to discuss a song that was covered only a year after the original and a little more current. We are talking about the song “Valerie” written by the band The Zutons in 2006 and then released by Mark Ronson featuring Amy Winehouse and a third version was released by Amy Winehouse as a B-Side for her Back to Black album. The song first appeared on the Zutons second album, ‘Tired of Hanging Around’, in 2006.
The song has been revealed to be about a young lady named Valerie Star who is a celebrity make-up artists. She is friends with Zutons frontman Dave McCabe and he wrote this to her as a way to show her support when she got in to a little trouble for driving under the influence. Apparently, the song took 20 minutes to write and he was inspired to write it in a cab ride on his way to his mom’s house.
The song for The Zutons hit #8 in Scotland and #9 in the UK, but never charted in the US. The cover version with Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse hit #1 in the UK R&B Charts and #2 in the UK Charts so it was a little more successful. Amy’s solo version in 2008 hit only at #37 so it was the least popular, but is it the best version? We will see.
The Zutons song is a light hearted indie pop sounding song. It is a fun, upbeat track with some great guitar tone to it. There is a little musical break with just a drum beat, hand claps and Dave on vocals that is a nice touch to the song to give it some variety. Dave’s vocals are little squeaky at times, but still very pleasant. It has a calming, sensitive feel to it like he really cares for Valerie and he wants he to come over and he’ll take care of her during her troubling times.
MARK RONSOON (FEATURING AMY WINEHOUSE)
Mark Ronson’s version of the song is more upbeat than The Zutons. The tempo is sped up and the production of the song is from the 1982 song called “Town Called Malice” by The Jam. There is a horn section and it is has a little blues, a lot of pop and a nice beat throughout. Amy’s vocals have the same old Amy sound, but not as jazzy as she can get and a lot more on the pop side. The song even has a little dance vibe to it.
Amy Winehouse’s solo version is nothing short of pure Amy. It was recorded Live at BBC Radio 1 in 2007. It is jazzier version with keyboards and a more acoustic feel. It has more heart and feeling and Amy’s voice is like no one else’s at that time and it sounds so classic. There is such a maturity to her vocals, she seems so seasoned like she has been through a lot and carries that weight in her vocals. A utter talent.
Picking a winner here is easy for me. Amy Winehouse’s solo version is tops for me. Not beating around the bush here. I really dug her vocals and when you put her in the jazz and blues setting she can’t be touched. The other songs are fun and more pop, but don’t have the heart her vocals bring. Now Dave McCabe of The Zutons hates the fact that Mark Ronson & Amy Winehouse’s version were so popular because people tend to forget it was really his song. It truly bothers him. I am sure when that check comes, it bothers him a little less.
I am really interested in hearing what everyone else thinks of these two songs. Let me know which version you like the best and why. Feel free to leave a comment and talk about the song and tell me how right or wrong I am on this one. Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.
Well sometimes I go out by myself and I look across the water And I think of all the things, what you’re doing and in my head I make a picture
‘Cos since I’ve come on home, well my body’s been a mess And I’ve missed your ginger hair and the way you like to dress Won’t you come on over, stop making a fool out of me Why won’t you come on over Valerie, Valerie?
Did you have to go to jail, put your house on up for sale, did you get a good lawyer? I hope you didn’t catch a tan, I hope you find the right man who’ll fix it for you Are you shopping anywhere, changed the colour of your hair, are you busy? And did you have to pay the fine you were dodging all the time are you still dizzy?
‘Cos since I’ve come on home, well my body’s been a mess And I’ve missed your ginger hair and the way you like to dress Won’t you come on over, stop making a fool out of me Why won’t you come on over Valerie, Valerie.Valerie,Valerie?
Well sometimes I go out by myself and I look across the water And I think of all the things, what you’re doing and in my head I make a picture’
Cos since I’ve come on home, well my body’s been a mess And I’ve missed your ginger hair and the way you like to dress Won’t you come on over, stop making a fool out of me Why won’t you come on over Valerie, Valerie.Valerie,Valerie?
Written by Dave McCabe, Russell Pritchard, Sean Payne, Abi Harding, Paul Molloy and Boyan Chowdhury